One of the first American films to deal seriously with the plight of Vietnam veterans returning to the States after the war, Coming Home originated from a possibly unlikely source: star Jane Fonda, then a controversial figure in the U.S.
One of the first American films to deal seriously with the plight of Vietnam veterans returning to the States after the war, Coming Home originated from a possibly unlikely source: star Jane Fonda, then a controversial figure in the U.S. for her outspoken anti-war beliefs, commissioned the project as a vehicle for exploring the difficulties faced by both returning vets, and the loved ones who remained at home. The result would be one of the most acclaimed movies of the 1970s, and an immensely moving portrait of American life during one of the country’s most turbulent eras.Fonda is Sally Hyde, wife of U.S. Marines Captain Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern), who goes off to Vietnam in 1968 to advance his military career. While initially saddened by her husband’s departure, Sally also begins to experience a sense of self-discovery during his absence, as she volunteers at the local V.A. hospital. While there, she meets Luke (Jon Voight), an old classmate who has returned from Vietnam with a disability and a newly formed anti-war stance. Sally and Luke share a passionate attraction, one which is obviously complicated when Bob also returns home from the war.Director Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Shampoo) created some of the best American films of the 1970s, and Coming Home became one of his most lauded works, earning a rare place in Academy Awards history as one of the few films to be nominated in all four acting categories, ultimately winning Oscars for both Fonda and Voight, as well as an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. One of the defining “New Hollywood” films of the decade, Coming Home remains powerfully affecting viewing today.